By Nick Allen4:03PM BST 05 May 2013
Poor Lady Edith Crawley. Jilted at the altar and living in the shadow of her elder sister, the glamorous Lady Mary, it's been a hard road. But the upcoming fourth series of the unstoppable Downton Abbey will see her blossom.
"They're very interesting times," says Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith. "The exciting thing for me, and for Edith, is we can show her when she's not at Downton, and what happens. There is a shadow over the house but elsewhere she can kind of reinvent herself, and she's having this exciting time, and she's writing.
"I'm having so much fun with this series. She's really embracing the modern way of life, she's working, and of course she gets to go to London and I get some great clothes. She's evolving. Its really fun playing Edith with the bit between her teeth and going after what she wants."
Filming of the fourth series of Downton Abbey, created by Julian Fellowes, began in February. Fans will have to wait until the autumn to see it in the UK, and next year in the US.
When they do the Crawley family and their servants will be depicted in 1922 mourning Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens, who died in an untimely car crash at the end of the last series.
Carmichael, 26, looked glamorous in a powder blue strapless dress by British designer Christopher Kane, as she attended a Downton-themed ball in Los Angeles. It was part of "BritWeek," a promotion of British links with California.
Asked which Hollywood star she would want as Lady Edith's love interest in the show, she told The Telegraph: "Ryan Gosling. I think he would be brilliant in Downton, and it would be a waste if it doesn't happen."
Gosling, star of The Notebook, has yet to sign, but there will be no shortage of drama in Lady Edith's love life. Asked if she will find a man, Carmichael said "I can't possibly reveal," but added: "As ever with Julian and the show there are ups and downs and twists and turns to the story, and all of it is desperately exciting."
One of the most memorable moments of series three saw Lady Edith's hopes of a happy conventional marriage dashed when the much older Sir Anthony Strallan left her standing at the altar.
In the next series the character of wealthy London newspaper editor Michael Gregson, played by Charles Edwards, who asked her to write a column, will return and that makes things "complicated" for Lady Edith.
"Her editor, obviously there is a spark and that continues really," says Carmichael. "It's great because I completely understand how much Edith has come on, and it really has come out of unfortunate things happening to her, and not getting the life she planned. I've always thought she would have been a dutiful wife, and it sparked her to find something else to do, and she does.
"As ever Julian manages to take the characters we know and love into exciting places at exciting times that we also know about, so we know that in the twenties women were beginning to do these things and we believe we're following it accurately.
"She's still going despite the knocks she's had. It's those terrible things that happened, those unlucky things, that have led to her growing and becoming a much stronger person. Even looking at series three so much has changed in terms of her aspirations and how she conducts herself as a modern woman, and that has come out of being jilted."
READ MORE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/downton-abbey/10038436/Downton-Abbeys-Laura-Carmichael-interview.html